Well, it has certainly been an interesting year!
Here at The Hemp Store we, like most people across the country and the world have done our best to adapt to these unprecedented times.
Our main trading base is at Cambridge Market and we have been incredibly lucky to trade in between lock downs. The market itself has mainly remained open throughout all, be it sometimes with only essential food stalls, most of which also offer local deliveries to vulnerable customers.
We hugely appreciate the difficulty and effort the market management and stall holders have gone through to accommodate the ever changing government guidelines and adapt the stalls and market square to make a safe shopping experience for everyone.
While there have been, understandably, teething problems and frustrations on everyone’s part, Cambridge market is a wonderful and resilient community, and it has been heart-warming to see the stall holders pull together as well as the amazing support we have received from the local residents.
After a very brief, not fully thought out, full closure early in the new year the market traders were blown away by a huge petition to keep it open. Our locals wanted to support small local business providing essentials in the fresh air and offering what many people saw as a safer alternative to a supermarket. We were delighted for our fellow stall holders when the market reopened a few weeks ago with some necessary restrictions.
Since the local change to Tier 4, followed closely by the new lockdown we have understandably been unable to trade in Cambridge since Christmas. We fully support and accept these measures although we miss our fellow traders and our local customers.
We have also missed our annual festival trips. In years past we have been a regular fixture at the Cambridge Folk Festival and Greenbelt Festival in the summer months. While they are incredibly hard work, they are also so much fun. It is always nice catching up with the fellow festival community, joking about how we can’t believe another year has gone by. It is great to see our festival regulars year after year and enjoy fascinating conversations in between sales.
The environmental festivals are always a great way for us to meet new like-minded people and to spread the hemp message across the country as well as enjoying all the great music and delicious food. We very much look forward to the joy that the return of festivals will bring.
We have also spent the last few years at Ely Christmas Fair where we enjoyed selling all things hemp in the magnificent Ely Cathedral. These events are sorely missed by all. Thanks to innovative thinking by the organisers, we were able to take part in their ‘Virtual Fair’ online so our “would be” Christmas shoppers didn’t miss out.
While we have been unable, for a large part of the year, to stand on our beloved market The Hemp Store has still been remarkably busy. We have been keeping up with our online sales and developing exciting new products.
Early this year we developed our own hemp hand sanitiser, the added hemp oil adds much needed moisture, it’s like using a hand cream and sanitiser in one.
We’ve had great feedback about our hemp soap. A lot of soap can be incredibly drying and tough on your hands especially when used so regularly. Our soap is completely free from chemical nasties and the hemp oil is incredibly moisturising and kind to sensitive skin. As we are all doing a lot more hand washing at the moment this has never been more noticeable.
This year has been incredibly tough on everyone but through these trying times it has been wonderful to see communities pull together and support each other and we join everyone in looking forward to some sort of normal in the near future.